Anne Wheelock Gonzales

 

One important aspect of building a sustainable regional economy is for community leaders, government (all levels, including tribes), local businesses and nonprofits to work together. The Native American Advised Endowment Fund (NAAEF) at Santa Fe Community Foundation (SFCF) provides support and resources for tribal initiatives and nonprofits working with the Native American communities in northern New Mexico.

Established in 1993 with a $10,000 gift from Allan Houser, renowned Chiricahua Apache artist and sculptor, and supported by caring donors and volunteers, the Fund has grown to $325,000. The NAAEF Advisory Committee (which is always comprised primarily of Native Americans) makes grants from the earnings on the endowment. Since 1997, the Fund has given over $125,000 in support of more than 42 organizations and projects. Such assistance can supplement other funds for specific initiatives or provide discretionary funds for expenses not covered by federal funding or other grants.

Through the grant cycles sponsored by Santa Fe Community Foundation in 2012, the Native American Advised Endowment Fund granted a total of $29,000 to these groups: Brave Girls Project at The Leadership Institute, Santa Fe Indian School; Fine Arts for Children and Teens for arts programs at Santa Clara Pueblo Day School; LifeSkills for Youth of Northern NM for programs with three Pueblos in northern NM; Pueblo of Tesuque Farming Department to help community members return to a healthier, traditional lifestyle; Railyard Stewards for health-related programs for urban American Indians; Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary for programs with three Pueblos in northern NM; Santa Fe Mountain Center for the Tribal Youth Environmental Summer Camp; Southwestern Association for Indian Arts for providing economic opportunity to Indian artists; and Tewa Women United for a youth project to bring back traditional ways of sustaining our families, healing our environment and feeding our spirits, and for services to six Pueblos in northern NM.

In October 2012, the NAAEF hosted the Regional Action Network gathering of the national nonprofit Native Americans in Philanthropy in support of their mission to advance philanthropic practices grounded in Native values and traditions. By continuing to establish partnerships locally and regionally, the NAAEF aspires to be a leader in Native philanthropy in northern NM.

The NAAEF and SFCF are important resources available to the American Indian people in northern New Mexico. In addition to making grants, the Foundation houses and manages funds for individuals, families and agencies. The Foundation has also created the “Hub for Social Innovation” to help people and organizations respond to the social, economic and environmental challenges facing our region. The HUB hosts gatherings focusing on a number of topics for our region’s diverse peoples. These services are available to anyone in the community, including tribal and other Native-serving entities.

The year 2013 commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Fund. In honor and celebration of the work accomplished, and in anticipation of future needs, the NAAEF Advisory Committee is undertaking a campaign to significantly increase the size of the endowment with the goal of ensuring meaningful grant-making and other support for vital programs and projects designed to meet the needs of the Native American communities and organizations in our region. Events and appeals are planned throughout the year, and individuals, businesses and tribal entities will be invited to participate. And, as a challenge to encourage matching gifts, the committee has pledged $10,000 amongst themselves toward the campaign (the amount of Allan Houser’s original gift).

For more information on the Native American Advised Endowment Fund, grant opportunities and other services offered by Santa Fe Community Foundation, visit http://www.santafecf.org click on “Current Local Initiatives” and “Native American Advised Endowment Fund.” To donate, click on “Give Now.” Then, either type “native american” into the “Search” box or select “Native American Advised Fund” from the drop-down list.

 

 

Anne Wheelock Gonzales is finance associate and NAAEF advisor at the Santa Fe Community Foundation. 505.988.9715, Ext. 7009

 

 

 

 

 

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